dawn allen

The Sky is Bigger Today

I have previously written about my journey of healing through vision therapy and prism eye-glasses. It has been a three year process (so far), and frankly a huge life challenge. The short story is that I was really sick with headaches, dizziness, and body aches. Turns out I had been seeing double (and other visual issues) since I was born! These visual issues finally took me "down" when my eyes changed around age 40. During the past three years we (Northampton Vision Specialists and I) gradually changed my glasses prescription and I did vision therapy.

The wild discovery during my treatments was realizing that I had never had depth perception. Actually the wild part was getting depth perception! Last week we made another step forward in my healing with yet another lens prescription change. I put the glasses on and went outside. As I looked up at the sky it was bigger! I don't know how to describe it to you... kind of like if you had been looking at a stream in New Hampshire then looked at the Grand Canyon. Bigger like that! The trees looked firm and a little menacing as I drove home. Every object seemed like it wanted my attention. Nothing was blending anymore. 

As I drove home tears streamed down my cheeks and I had the thought- I will never feel joy again. The whole world looks stern and stark. Then I reminded myself that this is exactly what I have gone through with each visual change, and I have managed to adjust each time. 

My artist journey has been forever changed and shaped by these visual changes. I am so curious to see what I create next week with my newly informed visual system. I am a little scared too. Just being honest!

Love, Dawn

Three ways I use photography to get what I want

I love going to the fabric store and selecting the best colors that go together just the way I want. However, lately in order to achieve the look in my art that I desire, I have choose to design my own textiles. Now I am using my photography to get what I want out of my fabrics.

The first way I use photography is by taking a photo that interests me- giving consideration to texture, depth, color, and subject. Then I have it printed on fabric and "paint" it with thread. I have made several of these Photographic Thread Paintings lately.

The second ways I use photography in my art is as a background with a 3D flower in front. I find a texture of wood, stone, or other element, photograph it, print it on fabric, then quilt it. Sometimes I alter the image on the computer like I did with the grass and sky below.

The third way I use photographs to get the fabric I want is by taking images (mostly of nature) that contain interesting colors or patterns and I alter them extensively on the computer. I often use Photoshop, Sumopaint, and occasionally Fotosketcher. All of the patterns you see in the photo below were created from my photography.

Of course telling you exactly how I create the designs would take pages and be quite technical, but here is one example: First, I took this photo of a morning glory. Then created three dimensional spheres with it, changed the sphere's color hues, and rotated them. I created a background from two other photos of flower petals, then put the whole thing together!

Here is another textile design created from the same morning glory photo.

As you can see, a tremendous amount of work goes into designing all of the patterns that end up in one detailed flower design. 

I am looking forward to showing all of my new designs at my solo exhibit opening August 5th 2016 in Southampton, MA. Please check out the details, share on facebook, and hopefully attend in person!

Happy art and love, Dawn